World Changers

4 Things You Learn When You Start A Business As A Teen

April 5, 2017 | Posted by Eva Baker

When I started TeensGotCents in 2013 I was 16 years old. In the beginning, it was just a high school project. I had to do it. It never occurred to me that it might become a business and even my full-time job one day.

See, in order to graduate high school, in the Baker household, you have to complete some sort of meaningful project that will impart many life skills. It took me a while to settle on something. I finally decided to take on personal finance for teens because I couldn’t find much out there (other than super boring curriculum) for teens.

I thought it would be fun to approach the topic as a teen learning along with other teens. So often it seems like personal finance is just another adult lecturing about why it’s wrong to buy brand name clothes. Or why one should start saving for retirement as a teenager. (And you should!)

Of course, working a part-time job can also teach a lot about life. I’m not disputing that at all. I am saying that teens who have the opportunity to run their own business have unique opportunities to learn in ways that matter deeply.

Phone skills

When I was 16 I was terrified of talking on the phone. I tended to text friends and didn’t speak on the phone all that much. But when I needed to interview people for articles on TeensGotCents guess what? I had to call them to schedule the interviews.

It was painful but necessary.

I stammered and slurred my way through about the first 10 calls. I would leave messages and forget to tell the person my name. Sometimes I forgot to include my phone number. There were times when I forgot both! Since giving up wasn’t an option I had to call them back. It was embarrassing but no one ever turned down a request because I wasn’t great on the phone.

Soon enough I didn’t get so nervous and now I talk on the phone and leave messages easily. Most of the time I even remember to leave my name and number!

Time Management Skills

Managing my business took up a lot of time. I still had to keep my grades up and it seemed like I could never get everything done. Pretty soon I was looking for a way to get more done in less time. I discovered the Pomodoro time management system and haven’t looked back since.

By attempting to stay super focused for short periods of time I am better able to get everything on my list done each day. Having my own business made me want to manage my time better.

Money Management Skills

It doesn’t take long to see the bottom line in your business. If you spend more than you make it just isn’t going to last very long. When you figure out the price for your latest product or service it’s crucial to get the math right!

In the beginning, I had to be really careful because I was making so little. I carefully considered spending even $10. Because I had to be so careful with the business I became more frugal with my personal budget naturally. Things aren’t quite as tight now, but I still think twice about any spending.

(Bonus Reason) Trusting God

It isn’t always easy for us to trust God. In any area of life. But God has used my business to show me that I can trust Him. When I don’t, I have a lot of anxiety in my spirit. Time and time again He has protected me from the consequences of a poor decision. Many times I have been blessed in ways I don’t deserve. Even the times of failure point me back to the Lord and it’s a good thing.

Starting a business is scary. It’s hard to put yourself out there or try to do something big when you feel small, young and inexperienced. It is also a great way to remember Who it is that gives success.

Can you learn these things in other ways? Sure you can. However, starting a business is a sure-fire way to develop skills that will benefit you greatly for the rest of your life.

If you are interested in learning more about being a teen entrepreneur check out The Teenpreneur Conference being held this June! The conference is for any teen who wants to start a business or who wants to get serious about one they already have. Seminars for parents as well!

Eva Baker
Since she was sixteen years old, Eva Baker has been blogging about personal finance for teens at her award-winning site Teens Got Cents. She loves Jesus, her two cats and CrossFit. She also watches way too much Netflix most days. You can follow her on Twitter.